CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Vegetable Soup

If you asked any kid growing up in the 1950s and ’60s for just one food item that their mom always had stocked in the cupboard, one answer probably would stand out: Campbell’s Vegetable Soup.

And there are a couple of good reasons for that. One, it’s kid-friendly. And two, if you’re feeling ill or just need to whip together a quick meal, Campbell’s Vegetable Soup can be a fairly healthy choice.

I’m sure there still are a lot of moms who keep a supply of this old favorite in their pantry, but when you get right down to it, making your own is a very simple alternative.

When I make homemade soup, many of the vegetables are ones we’ve grown in our garden. They have either been canned or blanched and frozen. But if you aren’t as lucky as we are to have garden space, using store-bought, canned vegetables can work just as well.

And if you do, I’ll guarantee you won’t be as quick to grab a canned version out of the cupboard.

Vegetable Soup
8 cups broth or stock
1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 15-ounce can whole-kernel corn
1 15-ounce can sliced green beans
3 or 4 carrots, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 large potato, diced
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup cabbage, chopped
½ cup pearled barley
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with cornbread.

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